The Falcons football program will celebrate its 10th anniversary this year, but it will be the first season St Joseph of Metuchen will play in a stadium of its very own.
Brenner Family Field now has full-size bleachers that can fit thousands, as opposed to a few scattered metal stands that only sat a few rows of fans each. There’s also a press box with a main section in the middle for officials, the PA announcer, writers and broadcasters, with separate rooms on the either side for assistant coaches. Videographers can shoot game film from either side of the box, which has two entrances and a dedicated stairwell so that those who need access don’t need to go through the bleachers.
The new seats will give parents, students and other fans a true birds-eye view of Brenner Family Field for the very first time.
“It’s a long time waiting,” says fourth-year head coach Rich Hilliard. “They finally got it done this year, and we can’t wait to use it.”
After a couple of years of JV play, the St. Joe’s varsity took the field for the first time in 2011, but still played four years before it got a nice artificial turf field, christening it on October 10th, 2015 with a shutout win over Perth Amboy.
“Our next phase is the visitors’ stands and the lights. The kids are very excited about the whole opportunity.”
On the field – no matter the surface – St. Joe’s has had tremendous success. The Falcons have won four divisional championships: three in the GMC White Division and one in the GMC Blue. All-time, they have a record of 58-30 (a .659 winning percentage).
But not having a stadium and press box didn’t make it easy.
“We used to bring a lift in for our coaches to go up in,” says Hilliard. “We’d have to get another lift for the traveling team.”
The St. Joseph student Internet radio station couldn’t go up in a lift; they would broadcast from a campus building around the 20-yard line, and more than 150 feet from the nearest sideline.
The first game at the new stadium is scheduled for Saturday, October 3rd at 1 pm when St. Joseph-Metuchen hosts Elizabeth as part of a six-game regular season schedule reduced by the NJSIAA in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Central Jersey Sports Radio will broadcast that game as part of its inaugural season of high school football play-by-play. Mike Pavlichko and Dom Savino will have the call.